The Paranormal Investigators Toolbox
Paranormal investigators use many types of tools to gather evidence during an investigation.
Although it is not required to have loads of expensive equipment, these basic tools can be proven useful during an investigation. Here is a list of some of the basic items used in investigations, and their purpose. This would be a good list to get anyone started with ghost hunting.
* Camera - A camera is the most basic of all equipment that every investigator should have. A simple disposable camera will work as well as any other camera. There are some drawbacks to digital cameras, such as they tend pick up reflective "orbs" such as dust particles and moisture droplets more frequently than a standard 35mm.
* Flashlight - A flashlight is basic common sense for safety's sake. Every investigator should keep one handy just in case, and have spare batteries as well. Adding a red lens attachment is also a good idea to help preserve night vision.
* Notebook and Pen - It is essential to keep records of your investigation. Always write down the date, weather conditions, moon phase, solar activity, temperature, start time, stop time, EMF readings, feelings, and anything that might be relevant. Not only is this a professional approach, but may help later when reviewing camera or EVP evidence.
* Electro-Magnetic Field Detector - Also known as an EMF detector, this device reads the natural electromagnetic fields during an investigation. It is used to hunting experience to a new level. Not only are video cameras good for backup evidence alongside a still camera, they can show much more than what a still camera can. Many of the video cameras on the market are equipped with night vision which uses infrared light to see in the dark.
* Thermometers - The two types of thermometers used in paranormal investigations are digital and infrared. . A digital thermometer usually will not be an instant read, but it still can detect a change in temperature. Digital thermometers are typically less expensive and more easily found in stores and are locate and track energy sources. An investigator will use this device to take initial readings around energy sources such as electrical outlets before starting an investigation. Abnormally high EMF can have a negative effect on some people. These devices were not built to detect ghosts, they should be used for their intended purposes.
* Video Camera - A video camera or camcorder is another potentially useful item. While a still shot camera is wonderful, a video can take your ghost good to measure ambient temperature and humidity in the area you are investigating.
* Digital Voice Recorder - In paranormal investigations, a voice recorder is used for picking up disembodied voices, also called electronic voice phenomenon or EVP's. The best voice recorders to use are digital recorders because this eliminates the mechanical noise that a typical tape voice recorder would produce. Some recorders are voice activated, which can be a great feature if you leave the recorder in a room while you investigate elsewhere. Either type of recorder is just as capable of picking up EVP's, but digital tends to have the best clarity. You will also want either a USB cord to transfer the audio to a computer for analysis.
* Batteries - Essential to have for any investigator, batteries power the majority of equipment. It is a good idea to keep spare batteries on your equipment case or bag. And if you can afford to spend a little extra on rechargeable batteries they are very useful and and will save you money.